Volunteers needed for the 47th Smithsonian Folklife Fesitval


This year’s festival will be held on the National Mall, Wednesday, June 26 through Sunday, June 30,  and  Wednesday, July 3 through Sunday, July 7. Produced by the Smithsonian Center for Folklife and Cultural Heritage, the Festival brings together musicians, craftspeople, storytellers, cooks, and more to share their diverse traditions and cultures.

Volunteers are critical to the success of the Festival and work closely with Smithsonian staff, as well as with Festival participants of various backgrounds. Past volunteers say they keep coming back to the Festival year after year because it offers “great fun, great people, and lots to learn.”

The 2013 Festival will highlight three programs:

Hungarian Heritage: Roots to Revival
Highlighting the vitality of Hungary’s cultural heritage in music, dance, costume, crafts, games, food and wine, among the events are activities and performances related to the “dance hall movement,” a grassroots movement that has revived village dance traditions in contemporary urban settings.

One World, Many Voices: Endangered Languages and Cultural Heritage
This program focuses attention on the urgent issue of global language loss. It brings together communities from across the country and around the globe to share how they are working to revitalize and sustain their threatened languages and cultural traditions. Participants include musicians, storytellers, singers, dancers, poets, and language educators and advocates.

The Will to Adorn: African American Diversity, Style and Identity
This program showcases the distinctive ways in which diverse African American identities are expressed through attire and adornment and the traditions, artistry, and social histories that have shaped these expressions. There will be demonstrations and workshops by artisans such as milliners, hairdressers, jewelers, tailors and ceremonial regalia makers.

A volunteer’s duties may involve assisting stage managers, helping with the audiovisual recording of per­formances, or providing general administrative support. Volunteers are also needed in the days before and after the Festival. During these times, you may be asked to assist with participants’ arrivals and departures. These and many more exciting opportunities are available, and we encourage you to join our team.

Please complete the Volunteer Application online  or request a paper application via phone or email at (202) 633-7477 or

Smithsonian employees who wish to volunteer must get permission from their supervisor if they are signing up for shifts during regular business hours.

You must be 16 years or older to apply.

For more information about the Festival, please visit


Posted: 22 May 2013
About the Author:

Alex di Giovanni has been editing The Torch since August 2006. Prior to joining the Smithsonian, she worked as a writer and editor for the National Geographic Society, Plexus Scientific, The Nature Conservancy, The National Foreign Language Center and St. Martin’s Press, among others. She has the best job in the world.